North of North Country



What a great time to be a MONC… After releasing its second album on Acid Jazz Records, the band was invited to record a live session for Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6 (chosen by the BBC as one of the best live sessions of the year), flew out to Moscow and Germany, and went on to fill London’s O2 Academy Islington and play the Madness House of Fun weekender.

The group that has been described as “basically Soul with influences of Mod 79 sounds and Punk 77 music”, lived up to the expectations with its sophomore effort for the London based record label. This rock’n‘soul modish music has emerged from the Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv and from a thousand influences, most of them unexpected. 12 tracks infuse Northern Soul, Post-Punk and Rock'N'Roll into heady visions of the city’s buildings, streets, bedrooms, clubs and bars, while remaining dedicated to MONC’s brass section extravaganza and their firm belief in the power of a great pop song. It’s the work of a small collective of music fans in a culturally diverse city.

When hearing the new album, look out for their storming cover version of Lou Pride’s Northern Soul classic, I’m Com’un Home (which was already picked up for the Universal released Soul compilation, Express Your Soul), the Craig Charles favourite, Running, and the tribute to obscure Stax singer, Wendy Rene.

A short recap: Men of North Country emerged from Tel Aviv’s small soul scene, bringing with them a fresh approach to creating the perfect three-minute soul nugget. The band started by chance, when soul DJ Yashiv Cohen was overheard singing along to the 45’s he was spinning. With the encouragement and eventual collaboration of his musician friends he formed Israel's finest soul outfit. UK based label Acid Jazz Records released two singles and a full-length album. All three releases garnered glowing reviews (including a warm recommendation from London’s Metro and a 5-star review in Germany’s Dynamite magazine).

These releases are filled with memorable melodies, infectious hooks and refreshingly honest lyrics, which portray the band’s love of a genre in which they truly excel. And whilst managing to stay true to their beloved 60s Soul, MONC also introduce a contemporary, fresh and personal twist and even tread some 80s water. Influences worn with pride: The Teardrop Explodes, Style Council and Dexy’s, but with an approving nod towards their 60's favourites: Al Wilson, Robert Parker, Gloria Jones and many more.

MONC’s records were met with excitement all over Europe’s mod and soul scene and were followed by seven successful European tours so far. On the second one, the CopaseDisques label saw an opportunity, grabbed it with both hands, and put all seven lads in the all-analogue Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! studios in Hamburg, to record 4 new songs. The result of that was the Magic double 7": three self-penned Soul smashers and a soulful cover of The Who's The Seeker.

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FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:
menofnorthcountry@gmail.com / (+972) 52 3695 355

Sat 13 April

The Rock Palace / support TBA

Givat Haim

Sun 28 April

Herzl 16

Tel Aviv

TIX + INFO

Thu 2 May

O2 Academy Islington / support by The Sha La Las, DJ Eddie Piller

London

TIX + INFO

Fri 3 May

Esquires / support by The Keepers - tickets

Bedford

TIX + INFO

Sat 4 May

The Oh Yeah Music Centre

Belffast

TIX + INFO

Thu 2 May

The Night Owl / Quadrophenia 40th anniversary

Birmingham

TIX + INFO

Man of North Country

If you’re headin’ a big city

Your tail stays behind

And you can’t find yourself

In this state of mind

You say be patient

Give it some time

But I once was a true friend of mine

Going back country

Your head stays behind

Regaining your senses

They all seem so blind

You say I’m crazy

Should give it some time

But I once was a true friend of mine

Not so country anymore

Not yet a lover, so you say

Can’t make heads nor tails

Pandora

I’m waiting by the phone figure this one out

I gotta see you girl but you’re not coming out

Well, I can go to your place, have some fun

Or maybe wait a while, I’m still undone

Where are you girl, where are you, Pandora

Been out on the streets just to find my voice

I saw your mom today she tells me it’s my choice

Well, I should get your number, call you up

But baby I’m afraid that the phone is out

Where are you girl, where are you, Pandora

Saw a doctor today he asks me for my name

I say I fear a change and think I’m losing my game

Well, if the pills don’t help you, take some more

But please don’t ever come back, son, you’re such a bore

Where are you girl, where are you, Pandora

Got so many things to learn

And you’re the oldest trick

Your mom says I’ll be just fine

God, I hope this will stick

Eleven thirty, it seems that the day is done

My bed starts to wonder could you be the one

Should I leave my heart open for a chance so slim?

And when I close my eyes I wander in my dreams

Where are you girl, where are you, Pandora

The North

Watch me growing up

Once upon a time

In a land divine

Where the water’s cold

And the accent wry

Once upon a time

Valleys shed no tears

Sand is quicker here

In my hemisphere

It’s the delta swamps

Can you feel the chill?

It’s the last frontier

The North is green fields, apples and pies

But don’t you ever dare close your eyes

When the night falls down

All your dreams could come

Spinning you around

Oh those soulful tunes

And those lonely croons

My that cracking sound

Ears became my eyes

Turned my feet so wise

Took away the blues

Fascination stays

When you pay your dues

To your dancing shoes

The North is green fields, apples and pies

But don’t you ever dare close your eyes

Oh province kingdom of the absurd

On main street peasants feeding the birds

The North is sun through sheltering sky

Where rudies smoke so much they can fly

The North is life so pretty and bold

Where all us sinners never get old

iPhoneumonia

iPhoneumonia, feelings are much too sparse

Tell me when the hell

Did this whole thing become a farce?

House, dogs, paintings on walls, become a farce

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about

Time to get your head out of your arse, oh well

Faking phrases that I pick off the street

I need a clue, a hint, a line, a post, a tweet

Don’t sell me slogans that are long overused

It’s like a walk in the woods

Got my mobile on vibrate I can’t compete

Deleting myself at your feet

Master of rhythm, got no problem, there’s never been

But melody, you can find only deep within

Trust, fear, blood, sweat and tears, all deep within

Not a task to be taken so lightly

To find something you’ve never seen, oh hell

Faking phrases that I pick off the street

I need a clue, a hint, a line, a post, a tweet

Don’t ask me what’s up baby haven’t you heard

Angry bird is the word!

Broke my mobile to pieces I can’t compete

Deleting myself at its feet

Teenage Frost

Been a lone ranger for so long

Walking this earth rightly dethroned

My armour in hand pale and weak

People were laughing look at that freak

Then you came along

Did you know that I was lost?

With your damn blue eyes

You warmed up my teenage frost

So it seems it’s never too late

To underrate a word like fate

And now we count the evening stars

As the day grows dark in Manne Park

Then you came along

Didn’t know that I was lost

With your damn blue eyes

You warmed up my teenage frost

You don’t know what you mean to me

Why do I need you constantly?

People of Tomorrow

Times like these

When you should be giving attention

Times like these

You can find a whole new dimension

Our memories are the echoes of pain, again

Times like these

When you should be given attention

Times like these

When you wish you hadn’t surrendered

Took a dive

When you ought to be a contender

Such a shame that you gave up and died, you fool

Times like these

When you wish you hadn’t surrendered

Stop this train

People of tomorrow

Stop this train

Don’t you ever follow us

Debut

So I stopped dreaming of the quiet life

I may not show it

It cuts just like a knife

Don’t go there, it will rip your world apart

A change of rhythm

Will change your heart

But no matter where it’s at

I’ll always be the coolest cat

Gon’ march into Soulsville, I’m lookin’ for my crown

Now at last it’s my debut

My little country days are through

This kid is a-marchin’ to town

God only knows how I will find you here

Between the buttons

Still I can feel you near

Son of a poor man keeps his place in line

But I’ll be wiser

Ain’t got the time

‘Cause it don’t matter where it’s at

I’ll always be the coolest cat

Gon’ march into Soulsville, I’m lookin’ for my crown

Now at last it’s my debut

My little country days are through

This kid is a-marchin’ to town

Pack a suitcase no regrets

A 7” of Bernadette

A guitar, a hammond, some shakers for my soul

I have promised to be true

My mama was, her papa too

This poor heart will never grow old

In town, kid’s a-marchin’ to town…

Staring Daggers

And after all these years

My collar’s bluer than my blood

Hopes high on nicotine

While waiting for the promised flood

Society’s credentials: fist or paper, vice and sins

Well, Mr. C’s got nothing in his pocket

His pretty green ain’t green

And after all these years

Liars seem to prosper fine

We all just run in circles

Avoiding unemployment lines

So many right wing meetings chew us up and grind us down

Poor Mr. C.’s got nothing in his pocket

His pretty green gone brown

Too many leaders are wrong

Nowhere for us to belong

Rifle in hand while my dear old mother

Is staring daggers

And still after all these years

Going nowhere empty hands

Rat racing far and near

But will we ever take a stand?

My blue collar is bleeding disbelief

My breath is thin

I’m Mr. C. got nothing in my pocket

My pretty green ain’t green

Too many leaders are wrong

Nowhere for us to belong

Rifle in hand while my dear old mother’s

Attending pistols at dawn

Too many leaders are wrong

Nowhere for us to belong

Rifle in hand while my dear old mother

Is staring daggers and gone

Magic

I think that it’s time

I can feel it tonight

The party awaits its star now

Step into the light

Cross this river of fame

Get my feet wet again

I got a bag full of magic for your soul

My shadows are gone

Just kissed them goodbye

I’ll die with my desert boots on

This ace is ready to fly

Ignited by rage

The smell of revenge

A fistful of firecrackers

A mouthful of magic for your soul

Can you hear it now, shine on you?

All these foreign men

Who invited them to play this game?

Don’t you say my name.

Like a bad disease

Cutting down my trees steal my seeds

Why don’t they leave?

If you see a boy who’s just skin and bones

I know him

He will know my song

And together we will show them wrong

Are they money bound?

Sniffing all around quite unsound

Released their hounds.

Don’t you find it odd

A protective squad in your yard

In the name of god.

If you see a boy who’s just skin and bones

I know him

Why would you destroy my skin and bones?

All these foreign men

Who invited them to play this game?

Are you not the same?

If you see a boy who’s jus skin and bones

I know him

He will know this song

And together we will show them wrong

If you see the boy who’s just skin and bones

I know that boy, he’s the one

 Shouting out how long

 You’ve done him wrong.

Teenage Frost (Northern Version)

Been a lone ranger for so long

Walking this earth rightly dethroned

My armor in hand - pale and weak

People were laughing look at that freak

Then you came along

Did you know that I was lost?

With your damn blue eyes

You warmed up my teenage frost

So it seems it’s never too late

To underrate a word like fate

And now we count the evening stars

As the day grows dark in Manne Park

You don’t know what you mean to me

Why do I need you constantly?

My teenage frost

Just melted away the moment our paths crossed

A gaze of your smile

I dive in your eyes

Used to be out in the cold

But now my heart's set on fire

Running

You should have been somewhere late last night

Should have been here to put up a fight

You were the heart that burnt my skin

Gone with the wind

And the clock keeps on running

And your love keeps on hunting, wanting more

You singing however far away or how long you’d stay

Today, where are those wicked words of flare?

Written on air, vanity fair

And the clock keeps on running

And your love keeps on hunting, wanting more

And your beauty is stunning

While my blood keeps on running on the floor

Wendy Rene

This city’s witnessed my debut

A broken heart, an attitude

It shoves me far then pulls me near

Far and near in my ears after laughter comes nothing but tears

Now where are you Wendy Rene?

Been so long now I'm ready to play

Sixty minutes of cliché

You wanna leave I want you to stay

Where are you Wendy Rene?

The summer here is hard to bear

Can't find my shadow anywhere

On your tail here and there fairy-dusting for clues in the air

So where are you Wendy Rene?

Been so long now I'm ready to play

Sixty minutes of cliché

 Peter Pan and Maggie May

You wanna leave I want you to stay

Where are you Wendy Rene?

All In

No one’s taking you for granted

I do believe you jumped the gun

Close your eyes and think of England

Jimmy rides into the sun

And if we hold on tight

If you stay the night

Debonair, I’m going all in

When you leave a doubt

Girl you wear me out

Listen here we’re going all in

Are you taking off your clothes now?

Or are we gearing up for war?

The missionary’s out the window

Preaching out to your back door

When you cry it out

When you scream and shout

Destiny, the bell is tolling

So please leave a doubt

Baby wear me out

Listen here we’re going all in

Boy (Album Version)

All these foreign men

Who invited them to play this game?

Don’t you say my name

Like a bad disease

Cutting down my trees steal my seeds

Why don’t they leave?

If you see a boy who’s just skin and bones

I know him

He will know my song

And together we will show them wrong

Are they money bound?

Sniffing all around quite unsound

Released their hounds

Don’t you find it odd?

A protective squad in your yard

In the name of god

If you see a boy who’s just skin and bones

I know him

Why would you destroy my skin and bones?

All these foreign men

Who invited them to play this game?

Say you’re not the same

If you see a boy who’s just skin and bones

I know him

He will know this song

And together we will show them wrong

If you see the boy who’s just skin and bones

I know that boy, he’s the one

 Shouting out how long

 You’ve done him wrong

My Danish Girl

London, 1966

Kissing her softly on her lower lip

Swinging, she was born to sway

Blend in the colours of a sunny day

My Danish girl is bittersweet

My Danish girl’s my heart and soul

They don’t know at all

My Danish girl is Rock'N'Roll

Motown, 1964

Intoxicated on the cellar floor

Dancing, she’s my love supreme

Ashford and Simpson in a lovers’ dream

My Danish girl is bittersweet

My Danish girl’s my heart and soul

They don’t know at all

My Danish girl is Rock'N'Roll

My Danish girl is bittersweet

My Danish girl digs northern soul

My little bedtime treat

My Danish girl is Rock'N'Roll

Forever Starts Tonight

Is the perfect rhyme so hard to find?

Echoes through the fog of verse and time

Little footnotes of a heartache

Scribbled lines of dares and outtakes

All these secrets sweating on my palms

Seem to fade away now that it’s getting calm

Kill or thrill her which do I choose?    

Kissing storms has always been my muse  

Forever starts tonight

Emotions are clouding

Windows shattered, sounds of loud guitars

Forever starts tonight

Can you hear the cry of haunting strings?

Takes you drowning in a bath of tears

Waving high my red flag of truce

Kissing storms has always been my noose

        

Forever starts tonight

Emotions are clouding

The truth unfolds I just can’t stand the heat

The drama is complete

Lost Tobacco Road

Picked me up from tobacco road

Rolling papers suggesting silver and gold

Light it up ‘til the sky is bright

Wrecking all sorts of weather

Into the night

Oh what a night

Graceland’s dead and gone I mourned it

Let the truth be told you scorned it

Stolen from my own tobacco road

Time to reload

On the highway inside your head

Empty ghosts are applauded, already dead

And your blade, it’s a work of art

Edgy bastard appointed straight to the heart

Tore it apart

Graceland’s dead and gone I mourned it

Let the truth be told you scorned it

Stolen from my own tobacco road

Now you’re getting old

Little child it’s a rocky road

And your eyes getting haunted, evil and cold

Pardon me from this heavy load

Can’t believe that I loved you

Not any more

Not any more

Graceland’s dead and gone sure enough

Let the truth be told and piss off

Nothing but a lost tobacco road

Time to reload

77

Soon to be broken

Never chosen our demise

Soon to be broken

I could see it in your eyes

Fate overpowered

Broken buds in our yard

Dreaded the hour

Once a friend now a scar

77 arrows splitting us apart

77 on the doorbell to your heart

Cruel autumn showers

Fizzy water gone flat

Kisses turn sour

No more arrows to cast

Do you wanna fight? Don’t you wanna fight?

My fists are in tow

On the great divide swallowing my pride

It was all just for show

Soon to reopen

A true emotion to be dared

Sweet foggy notion

I can feel it

They Don’t Know

They don’t know

We’re on our way home

A passage below us

And they don’t know

We got some magic beans    

And we’re rounding up the team

You gotta pick up that phone

And tell everyone you’re coming back after dawn

You ask me what is that thing

You talk about it again and again

You say you can’t live without it

Making your life worthwhile

I find it hard to explain

It’s like a sweet song needs a refrain

I’ll tell you one thing let’s go dancing until we can see the sun rise

 

They don’t know

We’re on our way home

A passage below

We got some magic beans    

And we’re rounding up the team

To hear the sounds we adore

So tell everyone to meet us out on the floor

You wanna know why (what is that thing)

I’m feelin' so high (feelin' no pain)

Keepin’ the faith (a link in a chain)

‘cause this is something I can’t explain!

 

Let’s Get Away

Running around like a drunk in the night (oh please tell us why)

End of November it feels like July

Lately I’m feeling that something ain’t right

Blinded by the light

Running around making love on the fly

Let’s get away to Berlin

Places that we’ve never been

See the Tokyo spring

Let’s get away

Gotta move on from this violent view (poor 972)

When did this land become bigger than the lives that it drew?

Every alarm sinks my heart to the ground

Oh that dreadful sound

Only asylum’s this city and you

Let’s take a boat down the Seine

Go visit Memphis again

Say Auf Wiedersehen

Sailing away

Let’s get away from it all

Leave all them masters of war

What is it good for?

Let’s get away

Permanent Vacation

It’s the final moment of her rest

Only seconds away

Though the clock is aching still hands show

Only seconds away

Taking it in lighthearted stowing away

Taking it in lighthearted stowing away

Heaven’s been forsaken

Waving gesture is the taste of the day

Permanent vacation always annotating her stay

Sweet anticipation smiles her way

Only seconds away

Taking it in lighthearted stowing away

Taking it in lighthearted stowing away

And in her darkest lonely hour she says it’s all ok

And in the temple of lighthearted she is queen today

Art by go-tam.com